You’ll regret it. Or not. How to overcome doubts, both yours and others.

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“YOU’LL REGRET IT.” I hear this more often than I say it. Because that’s how it is in life. Others always know what’s best for us. And since they’re such good people, they are eager to warn us so that we don’t do anything foolish again.
One question, though – is this altruism or projection? Do people advise us out of concern for us? Or maybe they’re just jealous of our opportunities, and they regret that they didn’t take advantage of such chances themselves?
 – You should study medicine or law. What are you even thinking about with this psychology?!
– But I’ll die of boredom or drop dead at the first sight of a scalpel.
– You finished school with the highest grades in your class. You worked so hard. And you’re wasting it all on psychology.
– But I’ll be a very good psychologist.
– So what? You’ll be poor and unhappy… You’ll regret it. You’ll regret that you didn’t study anything decent – you’d have a good, peaceful life.
Many years later, I believe that the best decision I’ve ever made was my choice of studies. I was madly in love with my studies. I didn’t go to college to become a psychologist, but I was born a psychologist and went to college to get confirmation.
I don’t regret it.

– Why don’t you have any children yet?
– I’m not ready.
– But you have such a great boyfriend. From a good family.
 – Why don’t you tell me  also that I’m lucky… (He doesn’t beat me… and he loves me, I thought to myself.)
 – I’m not sure if I want to have a child with him.
– What are you talking about!? He has good genes, so it doesn’t matter.
– But what doesn’t matter?
– Whether you’re sure or not. You’ll have a child with a good man, and then you’ll find out.
– But I don’t want to find out then! I want to be sure now, not later.
– You’ll regret it. You’ll regret it, and then it’ll be too late. How long can you wait just to be sure?

Good question. I don’t know how long – but I know shorter is better than longer. He’s a pretty good guy, and I have doubts. That’s a sign that he’s not for me. So I decided that it is better to be without a man and without a child if it is not the right man. And I don’t regret it. Because what always happens in the movies happened to me. As soon as I closed one chapter that wasn’t the greatest, I opened another that turned out to be perfect – without any doubt.

– And why did you quit your corporate job?! You’ll see that you’ll regret it, and it’ll be too late.
– I feel like it’s not the place for me.
– Grow up, Julia! You’re not supposed to FEEL this place. You come here to earn money.
– But I don’t want to just make money!
– Well, then because of your childhood dreams  and stupid ideas that your job should be your passion, you’ll regret it. Because the company will not take you back!
They wanted to take me back several times, but as it turned out – childhood dreams are an adult’s reality. My job is not just my passion. Because I am my job, and it is me. We are one, and we love each other very much. I would never have it like this at a corporation. I don’t regret it.

– And why didn’t you stay in London?!
– Because I wanted to make a career, and my boyfriend anted to stay a waiter. I wouldn’t have been happy with him, nor he with me.
– Yes, but you would be living in London.
– But I would be unhappy!
– Yes, but in London. You’ll regret it later, but you won’t be able to go back.
Marc is still a waiter, and I am still making my career. He’s still happy being himself, just like I’m happy being myself. We still like each other, even though it wasn’t meant to be for us. Neither of us regrets it. He loves London. I love Warsaw. And we each love our life.

– How can you leave your company for so long?! When the cat’s away, the mice will play.
– But I like playful mice!
– Go ahead and laugh, you won’t be laughing when everything falls apart.
– But what will fall apart?
– They’ll steal your business.
– But what are they going to steal?
– If they don’t steal your business, they’ll neglect it.
– But why should they neglect it if they aren’t neglecting it now? Besides, I’m not flying to the moon. I’m at work the whole time, just remotely.
– Whatever, I don’t know, you’ll regret it.
My “mice” are the most independent, intelligent, and caring creatures I know. I believed them and believed in them, so they believed in themselves and in the company.

I’ve been a traveling CEO for 7 years. And for 7 years, we’ve been getting more and more new clients. I don’t regret it. Not then, and not now.
You’ll regret it – I hear this often. It’s so often that it’s hard for me to find a field where some wise and kind person won’t warn me how badly I’ll regret something and how poor my decision is. They’ll say I should thoroughly think it over.

The hardest thing to learn is to NOT BELIEVE them.
The first natural human reaction is fear: what if they’re right?
What if it’s awful thing to be single, without children, in Warsaw, with an useless psychologist’s degree, and without a corporate job? What a tragedy and shame!
The moment when you let your doubts get to you, you are in a losing position. If you let termites get into your soul, they’ll eat everything before you know it.
Since I have this psychology degree and a long tradition of listening to what I’m going to regret, I’ve worked out a few strategies to overcome the damaging effects of this “good advice:”

  • First, I ask myself “what do I want?”
  • Then, I analyze all of the cons.
  • I imagine how I’d feel if the worst case scenario happened.
  • Then, I imagine that I’m acting without any regrets, but what I want still isn’t achieved (after all, it won’t get done by itself. Regardless, a decision needs to be made).
  • I compare the regret I’d feel from not doing what I wanted and the potential for disaster that my actions could cause.
  • Only after this kind of calculation will I make a decision: what do I want? Whatever decision I make, I stick with it. And I defend it like the child that I never actually had.( And yet, I should regret it.)

People will always have a strong opinion about You.
They will always want to voice their opinion, even if it’s uninvited.
Their vision will always be better than Your decision.
They will always “kindly” warn and alert you.
They’re like a tsunami: if you don’t prepare your mind for them, they’ll ruin everything.
The most important thing is having a sense of RESPONSIBILITY for your decisions.
Then, there’s nothing to regret. If you make a mistake, take it on the chin.
If you succeed, then put on your crown!
Whatever happens – Your decision, Your consequences!
As an imperfect human beings, we have the right to make mistakes. But we can’t regret mistakes, because if we knew more, and if we were wiser – we would have made another decision. Since we made the best decision we could have at the time, how can we regret anything?
However, there is something that I regret. A few times, I succumbed to fear and doubt because I listened to others more than I listened to myself.
I didn’t listen to what I wanted and followed the opinions of others like a sheep. I got scared. I changed my mind. I broke down. I let my doubts consume me from the inside.
That’s what I regret.
I regret the moments of self-doubt. I regret that someone invaded my peace and quiet. I regret that my doubts brought me to my knees.
That’s what I regret.
I was born to kiss the stars that illuminate the way for those who see where they’re going and move forward with a sure step. Stars are for those who have the brazen courage to look “good advisers” and other King Kongs in the eye and gently but firmly pursue their own truth and their own decision.
And I wish you all the same – you won’t regret it.

Main photo: Makeup and styling – Beata Bojda, photos – Caroline Anielewska &
Irek Kamieniak

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